Obvious is an App Store for Embedded Devices

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Mobile devices have gotten their own app stores for more than 10 years already, with Google Play for Android and Apple App Store for iPhones and iPads. Linux powered IoT devices – usually gateways – also got their own app stores with branded Ubuntu app stores relying on Ubuntu Snaps,  although I’m not sure they are widely used.

However, low power embedded devices usually based on microcontrollers did not get their own app store, and Obvious aims to fill this gap with the Obvious platform, an app store for embedded devices, which enabled after-sales features and upgrades.

Obvious app store embedded devicesObvious app store is currently in Beta and works exclusively with Nordic Semi based products at this stage. We don’t know an awful lot about the services, except it will enable a new revenue stream for providers of low power wireless IoT devices.

Some benefits listed by the company include:

  • Untapped resources –  Spare CPU cycles, an extra I/O port or an unused Bluetooth channel could all give your device new life by .upgrading current features or adding new ones, and charging a fair price for the upgrade
  • Partnerships – Obvious makes it also easier to partner with third-party service providers that could offer their apps for your IoT devices.
  • Remote Management and Metrics – Obvious platform will enable

    product metrics, secure provisioning, and easy over-the-air (OTA) updates

There’s a demo available on Obvious website, but you need to request early access to the platform by providing details about your company and project.

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Philipp Blum
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Philipp Blum

How about PlatformIO? https://platformio.org/ 😉
Yet another “we combine everything platform”. I would stick to one and I think PlatformIO has a really good ecosystem, so I don’t see the necessity to create another “app store”. It’s like you say: “Mhmm, this 10 standards don’t look enough and why are they 10 standards? We create a standard to rule them all. ” So what happens? It just becomes the 11s standard. So, I hightly recommend to contribute to platformIO instead of creating another platform. If you think there is something to improve, talk to the people. 😉

dgp
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dgp

Being able to load random code nuggets into an “IoT” device that has no proper isolation between anything or even any memory protection sounds like a great idea. You go to all that effort to get the vendor’s secure boot setup working so your product is less of a train wreck waiting to happen only to totally throw away any security you have by letting new code by a side door.

Philipp Blum
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Philipp Blum

Yup, also a nice topic! Everyone should understand the implications of the code dependencies. So, I highly recommend to take a look into your dependencies and understand what they are doing there.